Strawberry Gelato is one of the most popular fruit gelato flavors.
When spring comes and strawberries are ripe and super sweet, you can’t resist the temptation of a good strawberry gelato. Even better if it’s a strawberry gelato made at home!
This homemade strawberry gelato recipe wants no eggs: just heavy cream, whole milk, sugar and fresh strawberries!
This quick and easy preparation, with NO EGGS and NO COOKING, requires only one basic rule for its success: the freshness and high quality of its ingredients.
The milk must be whole and fresh, so DO NOT use skimmed or long-life milk or powdered milk.
The heavy cream must also be of high quality and fresh.
Finally, the strawberries must be very ripe, better if strawberries in season: they are tastier than greenhouse strawberries that you can have all year round.
Now we are going to show you how to make the best strawberry gelato recipe at home, WITH and WITHOUT an ice cream maker.
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How to Make Strawberry Gelato at Home
WITH Ice Cream Maker:
- Prep Time: 45 Min (about 10 min of preparation + about 30/40 min in the ice cream maker)
- Cook Time: without cooking
- Servings: 6 people that is about 750 g (5 cups) of Strawberry Gelato
WITHOUT Ice Cream Maker:
- Prep Time: 5 H + 10 min (about 10 minutes of preparation + cooling in the freezer for about 5 H)
- Cook time: without cooking
- Servings: 6 people that is about 750 g (5 cups) of Strawberry Gelato
- 400 g (14 oz) of ripe strawberries
- 150 g (3/4 cup) of granulated sugar
- 250 ml (1 cup) of whole milk
- 250 ml (1 cup) of heavy cream
Kitchen Tools and Equipment You May Need for Making Strawberry Gelato
Gelatiera (Ice Cream Makers)
The most useful tool for making authentic Italian gelato is for sure an ice cream maker or Gelatiera. There are various types of Gelato makers, but the best is the one that has a compressor that cools while churning the Gelato.
Let’s have a look at some of them:
The best performing gelato machine is Lello 4080 Musso Lussino 1.5-Quart Ice Cream Maker. It’s made entirely in Italy, easy to use and perfect for professional results at home. Small, with a large, non-removable bowl. The spatula is made of stainless steel. It has a powerful and robust refrigeration system to achieve professional performance without pre-cooling.
Another high-performance ice cream maker is the Whynter ICM-200LS Automatic Ice Cream Maker (built-in compressor, no pre-freezing).
You can create terrific gelato in the comfort of your own home. This high capacity unit makes up to two quarts of your favorite frozen dessert in a single batch.
Other types of gelato makers, without a compressor, plan to keep the special container of the machine in the freezer many hours ahead of time to cool the ingredients. Among these we recommend Cuisinart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker which in our opinion is inexpensive and practical.
Other Kitchen Tools
If you want to make gelato without an ice cream maker, the result is still good if you follow our recipe well. In this case, it’s useful a gelato container. You need it in any case, even if you don’t eat immediately all the gelato, even if you make your strawberry gelato with the ice cream maker.
Other accessories that you can use to serve your homemade gelato can be the tool to make the gelato scoops or the handy scoops to make sundaes of gelato. Finally the waffle cones that kids (and adults, why not!) love so much!
So first, we are going to show you how to make Gelato WITH the ice cream maker. Then we’ll show you how to make gelato WITHOUT an ice cream maker.
Making gelato without an ice cream maker takes more time and more patience but your homemade strawberry gelato will be as good as the one bought in an Italian Gelateria!
How to Make Strawberry Gelato WITH Ice Cream Maker
Step 1) – To make homemade strawberry ice cream, start by washing and drying the strawberries thoroughly. Remove the stalk and, if present, any damaged or unripe parts.
Step 2) – Cut the strawberry into pieces and put them in a blender or in the container of an immersion blender and blend the strawberries well, until you have a smooth puree. Check that no large chunks remain.
Step 3) – Pour the strawberry puree into a bowl and add the sugar.
Step 4) – Then add the heavy cream and finally the whole milk. Mix thoroughly with a spoon until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Step 5a) – At this step, pour the mixture into the basket of the ice cream maker, close and start it. After about 40 minutes (the time may vary depending on the model of the machine) your strawberry gelato will be ready! Sweet, fresh and creamy. You just have to taste it!
PLEASE NOTE: The best ice cream maker you can find on the market is the one with a compressor that cools while churning the gelato. This ice cream maker is very similar to the professional ones and is the one we used for this recipe.
How to Make Strawberry Gelato WITHOUT Ice Cream Maker
If you don’t have a gelato maker, don’t worry! It takes more time (5 hours instead of about 40 minutes) and more work but the result is still exceptional! Let’s see how to do it!
Step 5b) – Follow carefully the above steps, from 1 to 4, then pour the strawberry mixture into a gelato container and place it in the refrigerator. Let it cool for about 1/2 an hour.
Then transfer in the freezer and let it freeze for about 5 hours. EVERY 30 MINUTES you have to break the frozen surface. So remove from the freezer and mix for about 30 seconds using a hand whisk or an electric whisk on low speed.
This step is necessary in order not to create ice crystals in the gelato and have a creamy result. Of course, this is a slightly more labor-intensive process, but it’s well worth it. In the end, you are sure to have a terrific authentic Italian Strawberry Gelato!
If you want to make an even creamier strawberry gelato, read the paragraph below “How to Make Creamy Strawberry Gelato WITHOUT an Ice Cream Maker”.
You can store strawberry ice cream in the freezer for about ten days. Remember to take it out about ten minutes before serving.
Strawberry Gelato Recipe: Tips and Tricks
There are many different qualities of strawberries: some are smooth, others have many hard seeds embossed on the surface. These seeds in gelato can be annoying. To solve this problem, simply run the strawberry puree through a fine mesh strainer to remove them easily.
If you want to get a slightly less sweet taste with a touch of sourness, you can add a tablespoon of lemon juice to the mixture.
For contrasting textures and colors, you can add strawberry pieces to the gelato. Add the fresh strawberry pieces just before serving the gelato and not during its preparation. This is because the strawberry pieces will freeze and be very hard in the mouth and then release water, ruining the creaminess of the gelato.
How to Serve Strawberry Gelato
However, the most delicious pairing is still with whipped cream.
How to Make Creamy Strawberry Gelato WITHOUT an Ice Cream Maker
If you have an ice cream maker with a compressor that cools while it blends the ice cream, the problem doesn’t exist. The sugar and cream in the mixture, combined with the work of the machine, will give you a decidedly smooth and creamy ice cream.
If, on the other hand, you don’t have an ice cream maker, the process is a bit more complicated and laborious (as we showed you in step 5b)).
Now we suggest a trick to obtain a creamy ice-cream more easily: add a very ripe banana, of medium size, to the strawberries. In fact, the banana is rich in pectin, a natural thickener, which gives creaminess to the ice cream.
It will be a slightly more caloric ice cream but definitely tasty and creamy.
In any case, whether you have made the ice cream with an ice cream maker or without, we recommend that you take it out of the freezer about 10/15 minutes before eating it.
In fact, homemade fruit ice creams are very creamy as soon as they are made, but unfortunately they tend to harden in the freezer.